The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says plans have been concluded to launch the one million bags of rice paddy stacked as pyramids in Abuja on Tuesday.
Shehu Muazu, Chairman Pyramid Sub Committee, RIFAN told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the rice pyramids show that local production of food is possible.
President Muhammadu Buhari is unveiling the rice pyramids in Abuja on Tuesday, at an event attended by government officials including the central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele.
The rice pyramids were built with one million bags of rice paddy planted and harvested from states across the country under the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
According to Mr Muazu, immediately after the unveiling of the pyramids, the Central Bank of Nigeria and RIFAN will allocate the rice to processors.
“RIFAN in collaboration with the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria will process the rice and sell at a discounted price,” he said.
“This will lead to drastic reduction in price once it starts rolling into the market.
“Our collaboration with the millers association rests on the agreement that they will sell at a discounted price to Nigerians.
“Although, we cannot talk of price in isolation as far as prices all over the world is concerned because all over the world prices of food have gone up.
“But the good news is that rice will remain the cheapest commodity as far as food is concerned due to the success recorded through the scheme,’’ he said.
Mr Muazu also noted that the Anchor Borrower’s Programme (ABP) which is designed to assist small scale farmers is a testament to the efforts of the Federal Government in tackling food security.
“We have over one million bags of paddy rice which was collected from the beneficiaries of the ABP under the business strategy partnership.
“Benefiting farmers who received the loan which came in the form of farm inputs and cash, repay with rice paddy of same value.
“The significance of this rice pyramids is to showcase the achievement of government as far as agriculture is concerned and to call on Nigerian corporations to queue into investments in agriculture.
“If the poor Nigerian farmers can do this then the rich people can do more than this,’’ he said.
On his part, Njack Kane, RIFAN Africa partner, commended the Federal Government for protecting local producers of rice by banning rice importation and setting measures against smuggling.
“The Federal Government has taken a very critical decision which is to put protection mechanisms on the local producers of rice and the ban on importation of rice.
“And more recently, government has put measures in place to fight smuggling so that locally produced rice can thrive.
“Nigeria is one of the successful game changers in massive rice production. This laudable initiative will set a revolution in Africa’s agricultural sector,’’ Kane said.
NAN reports that the building of the paddy rice pyramids at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industries on Airport Road, started mid-December 2021 and has been a centre of attraction for passers-by. (NAN)
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